Tengrism

Tengrism, also known as Tengriism, Tenggerism, or Tengrianism, is a Central Asian religion characterized by shamanism, animism, totemism, poly-, and monotheism,[1][2][3] and ancestor worship. It was the prevailing religion of the Turks, Mongols, Hungarians, Bulgars, Xiongnu, and, possibly, the Huns,[4] and the religion of the several medieval states: Göktürk Khaganate, Western Turkic Khaganate, Old Great Bulgaria, Danube Bulgaria, Volga Bulgaria and Eastern Tourkia (Khazaria). In Irk Bitig, Tengri is mentioned as Türük Tängrisi (God of Turks).[5]

Tengrism has been advocated in intellectual circles of the Turkic nations of Central Asia (including Tatarstan, Buryatia, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan) since the dissolution of the Soviet Union during the 1990s.[6] Still practiced, it is undergoing an organized revival in Sakha, Khakassia, Tuva and other Turkic nations in Siberia. Burkhanism, a movement similar to Tengrism, is concentrated in Altay.

Khukh tengri means "blue sky" in Mongolian, Mongolians still pray to Munkh Khukh Tengri ("Eternal Blue Sky") and Mongolia is sometimes poetically called the "Land of Eternal Blue Sky" (Munkh Khukh Tengriin Oron) by its inhabitants. In modern Turkey, Tengrism is known as the Göktanrı dini ("Sky God religion");[7] the Turkish "Gök" (sky) and "Tanrı" (God) correspond to the Mongolian khukh (blue) and Tengri (sky), respectively. According to Hungarian archaeological research, the religion of the Hungarians until the end of the 10th century (before Christianity) was Tengrism.[8]

Relationship with shamanism

The word "Tengrism" is a fairly new term. It is conventionally used to describe a form of Tengri-centered shamanism that prevailed on the Eurasian steppes mostly among early Turkic and Mongol Khanates. Tengrism differs from Siberian shamanism in that the polities practicing it were not small bands of hunter gatherers like the Paleosiberians but a continuous succession of pastoral, semi-sedentarized Khanates and empires from the Xiongnu Empire (founded 209 BC) till the Mongol Empire (13th century). Among Turkic peoples it was radically supplanted by Islam while in Mongolia it survives as a synthesis with Tibetan Buddhism while surviving in purer forms around Lake Khovsgol and Lake Baikal. Unlike Siberian shamanism which has no written tradition, Tengrism can be identified from Turkic and Mongolic historical texts like the Orkhon inscriptions, Secret History of the Mongols and Altan Tobchi. However, these texts are more historically oriented and are not strictly religious texts like the scriptures and sutras of sedentary civilizations which have elaborate doctrines and religious stories. On a scale of complexity Tengrism lies somewhere between the Proto-Indo-European religion (a pre-state form of pastoral shamanism on the western steppe) and its later form the Vedic religion. The eastern steppe where Tengrism developed had more centralized, hierarchical polities than the western steppe. Tengrism has been noted as more centralized, less polytheistic, less myth-intensive and more historically focused than the paganism that grew out of the western Proto-Indo-European religion. Nonetheless, the chief god Tengri (Heaven) is considered strikingly similar to the Indo-European sky god *Dyeus and the structure of the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion is closer to that of the early Turks than to the religion of any people of Near Eastern or Mediterranean antiquity.[9]

Background

Guyuk khan's Stamp 1246
Seal from Güyüg Khan's letter to Pope Innocent IV, 1246. The first four words, from top to bottom, left to right, read "möngke ṭngri-yin küčündür" – "Under the power of the eternal heaven". The words "Tngri" (Tengri) and "zrlg" (zarlig) exhibit vowel-less archaism.
Orkhon
Tengri in Old Turkic script (written from right to left as t²ṅr²i)[10]
Kurşun dökme (Dropping lead onto one's head)
Kurşun dökme in Turkey

Tengrists view their existence as sustained by the eternal blue sky (Tengri), the fertile mother-earth spirit (Eje) and a ruler regarded as the holy spirit of the sky. Heaven, earth, spirits of nature and ancestors provide for every need and protect all humans. By living an upright, respectful life, a human will keep his world in balance and perfect his personal Wind Horse, or spirit. The Huns of the northern Caucasus reportedly believed in two gods: Tangri Han (or Tengri Khan), considered identical to the Persian Aspandiat and for whom horses were sacrificed, and Kuar (whose victims are struck by lightning).[11] Tengrism is practised in Sakha, Buryatia, Tuva and Mongolia in parallel with Tibetan Buddhism and Burkhanism.[12]

Kyrgyz means "we are forty" in the Kyrgyz language, a reference to the forty clans of Manas, a legendary hero who united forty regional clans against the UyghursKyrgyzstan's flag has 40 uniformly-spaced rays.

Several Kyrgyz politicians are advocating Tengrism to fill a perceived ideological void. Dastan Sarygulov, secretary of state and former chair of the Kyrgyz state gold-mining company, established the Tengir Ordo (Army of Tengri): a civic group promoting the values and traditions of Tengrism.[13] Sarygulov also heads a Tengrist society in Bishkek claiming nearly 500,000 followers and an international scientific center of Tengrist studies.

Articles on Tengrism have been published in social-scientific journals in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev and former Kyrgyz president Askar Akayev have called Tengrism the national, "natural" religion of the Turkic peoples.

Symbols

Tengri

Бэликто
Buryat shaman performing a libation.

Tengrism was brought to Eastern Europe by the Bulgars.[14] It lost importance when the Uighuric kagans proclaimed Manichaeism the state religion in the eighth century.[15]

Tengrism also played a large role in the religion of the Gok-Turk and Mongol Empires. Gok-Turk translates as "celestial Turk". Genghis Khan and several generations of his followers were Tengrian believers until his fifth-generation descendant, Uzbeg Khan, turned to Islam in the 14th century.

Syr Darya Oblast. Kyrgyz Yurt WDL10968
A traditional Kyrgyz yurt in 1860 in the Syr Darya Oblast. Note the lack of a compression ring at the top.

The original Mongol khans, followers of Tengri, were known for their tolerance of other religions.[16] Möngke Khan, the fourth Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, said: "We believe that there is only one God, by whom we live and by whom we die, and for whom we have an upright heart. But as God gives us the different fingers of the hand, so he gives to men diverse ways to approach him." ("Account of the Mongols. Diary of William Rubruck", religious debate in court documented by William of Rubruck on May 31, 1254).

Three-world cosmology

As in most ancient beliefs, there is a "celestial world" and an "underground world" in Tengrism. The only connection between these realms is the "Tree of Worlds" that is in the center of the worlds.

The celestial and the subterranean world are divided into seven layers (the underworld sometimes nine layers and the celestial world 17 layers). Shamans can recognize entries to travel into these realms. In the multiples of these realms, there are beings, living just like humans on the earth. They also have their own respected souls and shamans and nature spirits. Sometimes these beings visit the earth, but are invisible to people. They manifest themselves only in a strange sizzling fire or a bark to the shaman.[17][18]

Subterranean world (underworld)

There are many similarities between the earth and the underworld and its inhabitants resemble humans, but have only two souls instead of three. They lack the "Ami soul", that produces body temperature and allows breathing. Therefore, they are pale and their blood is dark. The sun and the moon of the underworld give far less light than the sun and the moon of the earth. There are also forests, rivers and settlements underground.[17]

Erlik Khan (Mongolian: Erleg Khan), one of the sons of Tengri, is the ruler of the underworld. He controls the souls here, some of them waiting to be reborn again. If a sick human is not dead yet, a shaman can move to the underworld to negotiate with Erlik to bring the person back to life. If he fails, the person dies.[17]

Heavenly world

The celestial world has many similarities with the earth, but as undefiled by humams. There is a healthy, untouched nature here, and the natives of this place have never deviated from the traditions of their ancestors. This world is much brighter than the earth and is under the auspices of Ulgen another son of Tengri. Shamans can also visit this world.[17]

On some days, the doors of this heavenly world are opened and the light shines through the clouds. During this moment, the prayers of the shamans are most influential. A shaman performs his imaginary journey, which takes him to the heavens, by ridig a black bird, a deer or a horse or by going into the shape into these animals. Otherwise he may scale the World-Tree or pass the rainbow to reach the heavenly world.[17]

View of the world

According to the adherence of Tengrism, the world is not only a three-dimensional environment, but also a rotating circle. Everything is bound by this circle and the tire is always renewed without stopping. The three dimensions of the Earth consists of the movement of the sun, the season which are constantly moving, and the souls of all creatures that are born again after death.[17]

Three souls of human

It is believed that people and animals have many souls. Generally, each person is considered to have three souls, but the names, characteristics an numbers of the souls may be different among some of the tribes: For example, for Samoyets, a Mongol tribe living in the north of Siberia, believe that women consist of four and men of five souls. Since animals also have souls, humans must respect animals.

Soul types

According Paulsen and Jultkratz, who conducted research in North America, North Asia and Central Asia by Paulsen and Jultkratz, explained two souls of this belief are the same to all people:

  • Nefes (Breath or Nafs, life or bodily spirit)
  • Shadow soul / Free soul

Soul names

There are many different names for human souls among the Turks and the Mongols, but their features and meanings have not been adequately researched yet.

  • Among Turks: Özüt, Süne, Kut, Sür, Salkin, Tin, Körmös, Yula
  • Among Mongols: Sünesün, Amin, Kut, Sülde[19]

In addition to these spirits, Jean Paul Roux draws attention to the "Özkonuk" spirit mentioned in the writings from the Buddhist periods of the Uighurs.

Julie Stewart, who devoted her life to research in Mongolia described the belief in the soul in one of her articles:

  • Amin ruhu: Provides breathing and body temperature. It is the soul which invigorates. (The Turkish counterpart is probably Özüt)
  • Sünesün ruhu: Outside of the body, this soul moves through water. It is also the part of soul, which reincarnates. After a human died, this part of the soul moves to the world-tree. When it is reborn, it comes out of a source and enters the new-born. (Also called Süne ruhu among Turks)
  • Sülde ruhu: It is the soul of the self that gives a person a personality. If the other souls leave the body, they only loss consciousness, but if this soul leaves the body, the human dies. This soul resides in nature after death and is not reborn.[20]

Central Asia

A revival of Tengrism has played a role in Central Asian Turkic nationalism since the 1990s. It developed in Tatarstan, where the Tengrist periodical Bizneng-Yul appeared in 1997. The movement spread during the 2000s to Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan and, to a lesser extent, Buryatia and Mongolia.

Symbolism

Many world-pictures and symbols are attributed to folk religions of Central Asia and Russian Siberia. Shamanistic religious symbols in these areas are often intermixed. For example, drawings of world-pictures on Altaic shamanic drums. [21]

SwastikaCW
Mongolian shamanism "Temdeg" symbol

Temdeg Writing

ᠲ᠋‍ᠠ‍᠊ᠮᠳ᠋‍ᠠ‍᠊ᠢ᠊ᠡ᠋
(тэмдэг)

The term "shamanism" was first applied by Western anthropologists as outside observers of the ancient religion of the Turks and Mongols, as well as those of the neighbouring Tungusic and Samoyedic-speaking peoples. Upon observing more religious traditions across the world, some Western anthropologists began to also use the term in a very broad sense. The term was used to describe unrelated magico-religious practices found within the ethnic religions of other parts of Asia, Africa, Australasia and even completely unrelated parts of the Americas, as they believed these practices to be similar to one another.

Witsen's Shaman
The earliest known depiction of a Siberian shaman, drawn by the Dutch explorer Nicolaes Witsen, who wrote an account of his travels among Samoyedic- and Tungusic-speaking peoples in 1692. Witsen labeled the illustration as a "Priest of the Devil," giving this figure clawed feet to express what he thought were demonic qualities.[22]
SB - Altay shaman with drum
Russian postcard based on a photo taken in 1908 by S.I. Borisov, showing a female shaman, of probable Khakas ethnicity.[23]

Since the 1990s, Russian-language literature uses Тенгрианство ("Tengrism" or "Tengrinity") in the general sense of Mongolian shamanism. Buryat scholar Irina S. Urbanaeva developed a theory of Tengrianist esoteric traditions in Central Asia after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the revival of national sentiment in the former Soviet republics of Central Asia.[24]

Although Tengrism has few active adherents, its revival of a national religion reached a larger audience in intellectual circles. Presenting Islam as foreign to the Turkic peoples, adherents are found primarily among the nationalistic parties of Central Asia. Tengrism may be interpreted as a Turkic version of Russian neopaganism. A related phenomenon is the revival of Zoroastrianism in Tajikistan.

By 2006, a Tengrist society in Bishkek, an "international scientific centre of Tengrist studies" and a civic group (Tengir Ordo, the "army of Tengri") were established by Kyrgyz businessman and politician Dastan Sarygulov. His ideology incorporated ethnocentrism and Pan-Turkism, but did not receive strong support. After the Kyrgyzstani presidential elections of 2005, Sarygulov became state secretary and set up a workgroup dealing with ideological issues.[25] Another Kyrgyz proponent of Tengrism, Kubanychbek Tezekbaev, was prosecuted for inciting religious and ethnic hatred in 2011 with statements in an interview describing Kyrgyz mullahs as "former alcoholics and murderers".[26]

Arghun's letters

ArghunLetterToPhilippeLeBelExtract1289
Arghun Khan's 1289 letter to Philip the Fair, in classical Mongolian script. The letter was given to the French king by Buscarel of Gisolfe.

Arghun expressed the association of Tengri with imperial legitimacy and military success. The majesty (suu) of the khan is a divine stamp granted by Tengri to a chosen individual through which Tengri controls the world order (the presence of Tengri in the khan). In this letter, "Tengri" or "Mongke Tengri" ("Eternal Heaven") is at the top of the sentence. In the middle of the magnified section, the phrase Tengri-yin Kuchin ("Power of Tengri") forms a pause before it is followed by the phrase Khagan-u Suu ("Majesty of the Khan"):

Under the Power of the Eternal Tengri. Under the Majesty of the Khan (Kublai Khan). Arghun Our word. To the Ired Farans (King of France). Last year you sent your ambassadors led by Mar Bar Sawma telling Us: "if the soldiers of the Il-Khan ride in the direction of Misir (Egypt) we ourselves will ride from here and join you", which words We have approved and said (in reply) "praying to Tengri (Heaven) We will ride on the last month of winter on the year of the tiger and descend on Dimisq (Damascus) on the 15th of the first month of spring." Now, if, being true to your words, you send your soldiers at the appointed time and, worshipping Tengri, we conquer those citizens (of Damascus together), We will give you Orislim (Jerusalem). How can it be appropriate if you were to start amassing your soldiers later than the appointed time and appointment? What would be the use of regretting afterwards? Also, if, adding any additional messages, you let your ambassadors fly (to Us) on wings, sending Us luxuries, falcons, whatever precious articles and beasts there are from the land of the Franks, the Power of Tengri (Tengri-yin Kuchin) and the Majesty of the Khan (Khagan-u Suu) only knows how We will treat you favorably. With these words We have sent Muskeril (Buscarello) the Khorchi. Our writing was written while We were at Khondlon on the sixth khuuchid (6th day of the old moon) of the first month of summer on the year of the cow.[27]

LetterArghunToNicholasIV1290VaticanArchives
1290 letter from Arghun to Pope Nicholas IV

Arghun expressed Tengrism's non-dogmatic side. The name Mongke Tengri ("Eternal Tengri") is at the top of the sentence in this letter to Pope Nicholas IV, in accordance with Mongolian Tengriist writing rules). The words "Tngri" (Tengri) and "zrlg" (zarlig, decree/order) are still written with vowel-less archaism:

... Your saying "May [the Ilkhan] receive silam (baptism)" is legitimate. We say: "We the descendants of Genghis Khan, keeping our own proper Mongol identity, whether some receive silam or some don't, that is only for Eternal Tengri (Heaven) to know (decide)." People who have received silam and who, like you, have a truly honest heart and are pure, do not act against the religion and orders of the Eternal Tengri and of Misiqa (Messiah or Christ). Regarding the other peoples, those who, forgetting the Eternal Tengri and disobeying him, are lying and stealing, are there not many of them? Now, you say that we have not received silam, you are offended and harbor thoughts of discontent. [But] if one prays to Eternal Tengri and carries righteous thoughts, it is as much as if he had received silam. We have written our letter in the year of the tiger, the fifth of the new moon of the first summer month (May 14th, 1290), when we were in Urumi.[28]

Terms for 'shaman' and 'shamaness' in Siberian languages

  • 'shaman': saman (Nedigal, Nanay, Ulcha, Orok), sama (Manchu). The variant /šaman/ (i.e., pronounced "shaman") is Evenk (whence it was borrowed into Russian).
  • 'shaman': alman, olman, wolmen[29] (Yukagir)
  • 'shaman': [qam] (Tatar, Shor, Oyrat), [xam] (Tuva, Tofalar)
  • The Buryat word for shaman is бөө (böö) [bøː], from early Mongolian böge.[30]
  • 'shaman': ńajt (Khanty, Mansi), from Proto-Uralic *nojta (c.f. Sámi noaidi)
  • 'shamaness': [iduɣan] (Mongol), [udaɣan] (Yakut), udagan (Buryat), udugan (Evenki, Lamut), odogan (Nedigal). Related forms found in various Siberian languages include utagan, ubakan, utygan, utügun, iduan, or duana. All these are related to the Mongolian name of Etügen, the hearth goddess, and Etügen Eke 'Mother Earth'. Maria Czaplicka points out that Siberian languages use words for male shamans from diverse roots, but the words for female shaman are almost all from the same root. She connects this with the theory that women's practice of shamanism was established earlier than men's, that "shamans were originally female."[31]

Buddhism and Tengrism

The 17th century Mongolian chronicle Altan Tobchi (Golden Summary) contains references to Tengri. Tengrism was assimilated into Mongolian Buddhism while surviving in purer forms only in far-northern Mongolia. Tengrist formulas and ceremonies were subsumed into the state religion. This is similar to the fusion of Buddhism and Shinto in Japan. The Altan Tobchi contains the following prayer at its very end:

Mongolian:
Aya gaihamshig huvilgaan bogdos haadiin yazguuriig odii todii tuuhnees
Ayag ha tehimlig shashnaa dara Luvsandanzan guush beer
Ahui ih uls zalgan uztugei hemeen hicheen bichuulsen tuugeer
Amitan buhen tsagaan buyanaar ezlen, amin nasan urt bolood
Amgalan jargalantan boltugai
Erht Tengerees isht haadiin sahiusan beer saitar tetgen ivgeej
Evedchin, zud, totgor, tsag busiin uhel ustan amarlij
Ed tavaar delgeren, ur taria arvidan, nasan buyan nemj
Enh esen amar jargalan, osge hur met olzii hutag orshtugai
English translation:
Aya! The origin of the marvelous divine Khans from miscellaneous histories
Collected by the faith-professing monk Luvsandanzan guush (Buddhist title)
Written with effort so that the great nation may read for generations. By it,
May all beings rule through white virtue, living long lives
And become possessors of peace and happiness
With the spirits of the Khans descended from mighty Tengri blessing thoroughly
May sickness, zud, obstacles and untimely death be removed and pacified
May merchandise spread, crops flourish and longevity increase
May peaceful health and happiness prevail, and auspicious luck come like rain

Islam and Tengrism

Islam is based on a written corpus. Doctrines and religious law derive from the Quran and are explained by hadith. In contrast, Tengrism is based on personal relationship with spirits and personal experiences, that can not be fixiated in writings, thus there can be no dogma or offcial religious functionary. In this regard, both belief-systems are fundamentally distinct.[32] Turks usually encountered and assimilated their beliefs to Islam via Sufism. Turks probably identified Dervishes as something akin to shamans.[33] First contact between shamanistic Turks and Islam took place during the Battle of Talas against the Chinese Tang dynasty. Turkic shamanism further influenced parts of Sufism and Folk Islam.[34] Many shamanistic beliefs were considered as genuine Islamic by many average Muslims and even prevailed today.[35]

Turkic worship of Tengri was mocked by the Muslim Turk Mahmud al-Kashgari, who wrote: "The infidels - may God destroy them!"[36][37] According to Kashgari, Muhammad assisted in a miraculous event where 700,000 Yabāqu infidels were defeated by 40,000 Muslims led by Arslān Tegīn; fires shot sparks at the Yabāqu from gates on a green mountain[38] (the Yabaqu were a Turkic people).[39]

Tatar Tengrists oppose Islam as a Semetic-religion imposing a foreign religion to Turks. It excludes the exerpiences of other nation, but offers Semitic history as it were the history of all humanity. The principle of submission (both in Islam as well as in Christianity) is disregarded as one of the major failings. It allows rich people to abuse the ordinary people and makes human development stagnant. They advocate Turanism and abandonment of Islam as an Arab-religion. Contrary, others assert that Tengri is indeed synonymous with Allah and that Turkic ancestors did not leave their former belief behind, but simply accepted Allah as new expression for Tengri.[40]

Tengrism in the Secret History of the Mongols

Burkhan Khaldun mount2
Mount Burkhan Khaldun is a place where Genghis Khan regularly prayed to Tengri.

Tengri is mentioned many times in the Secret History of the Mongols, written in 1240. The book starts by listing the ancestors of Genghis Khan starting from Borte Chino (Blue Wolf) born with "destiny from Tengri". Bodonchar Munkhag the 9th generation ancestor of Genghis Khan is called a "son of Tengri". When Temujin was brought to the Qongirat tribe at 9 years old to choose a wife, Dei Setsen of the Qongirat tells Yesugei the father of Temujin (Genghis Khan) that he dreamt of a white falcon, grasping the sun and the moon, come and sit on his hands. He identifies the sun and the moon with Yesugei and Temujin. Temujin then encounters Tengri in the mountains at the age of 12. The Taichiud had come for him when he was living with his siblings and mother in the wilderness, subsisting on roots, wild fruits, sparrows and fish. He was hiding in the thick forest of Terguun Heights. After three days hiding he decided to leave and was leading his horse on foot when he looked back and noticed his saddle had fallen. Temujin says "I can understand the belly strap can come loose, but how can the breast strap also come loose? Is Tengri persuading me?" He waited three more nights and decided to go out again but a tent-sized rock had blocked the way out. Again he said "Is Tengri persuading me?", returned and waited three more nights. Finally he lost patience after 9 days of hunger and went around the rock, cutting down the wood on the other side with his arrow-whittling knife, but as he came out the Taichiud were waiting for him there and promptly captured him. Toghrul later credits the defeat of the Merkits with Jamukha and Temujin to the "mercy of mighty Tengri" (paragraph 113). Khorchi of the Baarin tells Temujin of a vision given by "Zaarin Tengri" where a bull raises dust and asks for one of his horns back after charging the ger cart of Jamukha (Temujin's rival) while another ox harnessed itself to a big ger cart on the main road and followed Temujin, bellowing "Heaven and Earth have agreed to make Temujin the Lord of the nation and I am now carrying the nation to you". Temujin afterward tells his earliest companions Boorchi and Zelme that they will be appointed to the highest posts because they first followed him when he was "mercifully looked upon by Tengri" (paragraph 125). In the Battle of Khuiten, Buyuruk Khan and Quduga try using zad stones to cause a thunderstorm against Temujin but it backfires and they get stuck in slippery mud. They say "the wrath of Tengri is upon us" and flee in disorder (paragraph 143). Temujin prays to "father Tengri" on a high hill with his belt around his neck after defeating the Taichiud at Tsait Tsagaan Tal and taking 100 horses and 50 breastplates. He says "I haven't become Lord thanks to my own bravery, but I have defeated my enemies thanks to the love of my father mighty Tengri". When Nilqa Sengum the son of Toghrul Khan tries to convince him to attack Temujin, Toghrul says "How can I think evil of my son Temujin? If we think evil of him when he is such a critical support to us, Tengri will not be pleased with us". After Nilqa Sengum throws a number of tantrums Toghrul finally relents and says "I was afraid of Tengri and said how can I harm my son. If you are really capable, then you decide what you need to do".[41]

When Boorchi and Ogedei return wounded from the battle against Toghrul, Genghis Khan strikes his chest in anguish and says "May Eternal Tengri decide" (paragraph 172). Genghis Khan tells Altan and Khuchar "All of you refused to become Khan, that is why I led you as Khan. If you would have become Khan I would have charged first in battle and brought you the best women and horses if high Khukh Tengri showed us favor and defeated our enemies". After defeating the Keraits Genghis Khan says "By the blessing of Eternal Tengri I have brought low the Kerait nation and ascended the high throne" (paragraph 187). Genghis sends Subutai with an iron cart to pursue the sons of Togtoa and tells him "If you act exposed though hidden, near though far and maintain loyalty then Supreme Tengri will bless you and support you" (paragraph 199). Jamukha tells Temujin "I had no trustworthy friends, no talented brothers and my wife was a talker with great words. That is why I have lost to you Temujin, blessed and destined by Father Tengri." Genghis Khan appoints Shikhikhutug chief judge of the Empire in 1206 and tells him "Be my eyes to see and ears to hear when I am ordering the empire through the blessing of Eternal Tengri" (paragraph 203). Genghis Khan appoints Muqali "Gui Wang" because he "transmitted the word of Tengri when I was sitting under the spreading tree in the valley of Khorkhunag Jubur where Hotula Khan used to dance" (paragraph 206). He gives Khorchi of the Baarin 30 wives because he promised Khorchi he would fulfill his request for 30 wives "if what you say comes true through the mercy and power of Tengri" (paragraph 207). Genghis mentions both Eternal Tengri and "heaven and earth" when he says "By the mercy of Eternal Tengri and the blessing of heaven and earth I have greatly increased in power, united all the great nation and brought them under my reins" (paragraph 224). Genghis orders Dorbei the Fierce of the Dorbet tribe to "strictly govern your soldiers, pray to Eternal Tengri and try to conquer the Khori Tumed people" (paragraph 240). After being insulted by Asha Khambu of the Tanguts of being a weak Khan Genghis Khan says "If Eternal Tengri blesses me and I firmly pull my golden reins, then things will become clear at that time" (paragraph 256). When Asha Khambu of the Tangut insults him again after his return from the Khwarezmian campaign Genghis Khan says "How can we go back (to Mongolia) when he says such proud words? Though I die I won't let these words slip. Eternal Tengri, you decide" (paragraph 265). After Genghis Khan "ascends to Tengri" (paragraph 268) during his successful campaign against the Tangut (Xi Xia) the wheels of the returning funeral cart gets stuck in the ground and Gilugdei Baatar of the Sunud says "My horse-mounted divine lord born with destiny from Khukh Tengri, have you abandoned your great nation?" Batu Khan sends a secret letter to Ogedei Khan saying "Under the power of the Eternal Tengri, under the Majesty of my uncle the Khan, we set up a great tent to feast after we had broken the city of Meged, conquered the Orosuud (Russians), brought in eleven nations from all directions and pulled on our golden reins to hold one last meeting before going our separate directions" (paragraph 275).[41]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ The spelling Tengrism is found in the 1960s, e.g. Bergounioux (ed.), Primitive and prehistoric religions, Volume 140, Hawthorn Books, 1966, p. 80. Tengrianism is a reflection of the Russian term, Тенгрианство. It is reported in 1996 ("so-called Tengrianism") in Shnirelʹman (ed.), Who gets the past?: competition for ancestors among non-Russian intellectuals in Russia, Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 1996, ISBN 978-0-8018-5221-3, p. 31 in the context of the nationalist rivalry over Bulgar legacy. The spellings Tengriism and Tengrianity are later, reported (deprecatingly, in scare quotes) in 2004 in Central Asiatic journal, vol. 48–49 (2004), p. 238. The Turkish term Tengricilik is also found from the 1990s. Mongolian Тэнгэр шүтлэг is used in a 1999 biography of Genghis Khan (Boldbaatar et. al, Чингис хаан, 1162-1227, Хаадын сан, 1999, p. 18).
  2. ^ R. Meserve, Religions in the central Asian environment. In: History of Civilizations of Central Asia, Volume IV, The age of achievement: A.D. 750 to the end of the fifteenth century, Part Two: The achievements, p. 68:
    • "[...] The ‘imperial’ religion was more monotheistic, centred around the all-powerful god Tengri, the sky god."
  3. ^ Michael Fergus, Janar Jandosova, Kazakhstan: Coming of Age, Stacey International, 2003, p.91:
    • "[...] a profound combination of monotheism and polytheism that has come to be known as Tengrism."
  4. ^ "There is no doubt that between the 6th and 9th centuries Tengrism was the religion among the nomads of the steppes" Yazar András Róna-Tas, Hungarians and Europe in the early Middle Ages: an introduction to early Hungarian history, Yayıncı Central European University Press, 1999, ISBN 978-963-9116-48-1, p. 151.
  5. ^ Jean-Paul Roux, Die alttürkische Mythologie, p. 255
  6. ^ Saunders, Robert A. and Vlad Strukov (2010). Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press. pp. 412–13. ISBN 978-0-81085475-8.
  7. ^ Mehmet Eröz (2010-03-10). Eski Türk dini (gök tanrı inancı) ve Alevîlik-Bektaşilik. Retrieved 2013-02-19.
  8. ^ Fodor István, A magyarok ősi vallásáról (About the old religion of the Hungarians) Vallástudományi Tanulmányok. 6/2004, Budapest, p. 17–19
  9. ^ Mircea Eliade, John C. Holt, Patterns in comparative religion, 1958, p. 94.
  10. ^ Tekin, Talat (1993). Irk bitig (the book of omens). Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz. p. 8. ISBN 978-3-447-03426-5.
  11. ^ Hungarians & Europe in the Early Middle Ages: An Introduction to Early... - András Róna-Tas. Retrieved 2013-02-19.
  12. ^ Balkanlar'dan Uluğ Türkistan'a Türk halk inançları Cilt 1, Yaşar Kalafat, Berikan, 2007
  13. ^ McDermott, Roger. "The Jamestown Foundation: High-Ranking Kyrgyz Official Proposes New National Ideology". Jamestown.org. Retrieved 2013-02-19.
  14. ^ Bulgars and the Slavs followed ancestral religious practices and worshipped the sky-god Tengri. Bulgaria, Patriarchal Orthodox Church of --, p. 79, at Google Books
  15. ^ Buddhist studies review, Volumes 6-8, 1989, p. 164.
  16. ^ Osman Turan, The Ideal of World Domination among the Medieval Turks, in Studia Islamica, No. 4 (1955), pp. 77-90
  17. ^ a b c d e f "A Course in Mongolian Shamanism - Introduction 101". Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia: Golomt Center for Shamanist Studies. 1997.
  18. ^ Türk Mitolojisi, Murat Uraz, 1992 ISBN 9759792359 Parameter error in {{ISBN}}: Invalid ISBN.
  19. ^ Götter und Mythen in Zentralasien und Nordeurasien Käthe Uray-Kőhalmi, Jean-Paul Roux, Pertev N. Boratav, Edith Vertes: ISBN 3-12-909870-4 İçinden: Jean-Paul Roux: Die alttürkische Mythologie (Eski Türk mitolojisi)
  20. ^ Julie Stewart - Mongolian Shamanism (İng.)
  21. ^ http://www.nbi.dk/natphil/Siberian.html
  22. ^ Hutton 2001. p. 32.
  23. ^ Hoppál, Mihály (2005). Sámánok Eurázsiában (in Hungarian). Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó. ISBN 978-963-05-8295-7. pp. 77, 287; Znamensky, Andrei A. (2005). "Az ősiség szépsége: altáji török sámánok a szibériai regionális gondolkodásban (1860–1920)". In Molnár, Ádám (ed.). Csodaszarvas. Őstörténet, vallás és néphagyomány. Vol. I (in Hungarian). Budapest: Molnár Kiadó. pp. 117–134. ISBN 978-963-218-200-1., p. 128
  24. ^ Irina S. Urbanaeva (Урбанаева И.С.), Шаманизм монгольского мира как выражение тенгрианской эзотерической традиции Центральной Азии ("Shamanism in the Mongolian World as an Expression of the Tengrianist Esoteric Traditions of Central Asia"), Центрально-азиатский шаманизм: философские, исторические, религиозные аспекты. Материалы международного симпозиума, 20-26 июня 1996 г., Ulan-Ude (1996); English language discussion in Andrei A. Znamenski, Shamanism in Siberia: Russian records of indigenous spirituality, Springer, 2003, ISBN 978-1-4020-1740-7, 350–352.
  25. ^ Erica Marat, Kyrgyz Government Unable to Produce New National Ideology, 22 February 2006, CACI Analyst, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute.
  26. ^ RFE/RL 31 January 2012.
  27. ^ For another translation here
  28. ^ Translation on page 18 here
  29. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 12 January 2001. Retrieved 17 July 2009.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  30. ^ Lessing, Ferdinand D., ed. (1960). Mongolian-English Dictionary. Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 123.
  31. ^ Czaplicka, Maria (1914). "XII. Shamanism and Sex". Aboriginal Siberia. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Retrieved March 7, 2015.
  32. ^ Denise Aigle The Mongol Empire between Myth and Reality: Studies in Anthropological History BRILL, 28.10.2014 ISBN 978-9-0042-8064-9 p. 107
  33. ^ Carter V. Findle The Turks in World History Oxford University Press, USA, 2005 ISBN 9780195177268
  34. ^ Denise Aigle The Mongol Empire between Myth and Reality: Studies in Anthropological History BRILL, 28.10.2014 ISBN 978-9-0042-8064-9 p. 107
  35. ^ Cenap Çakmak Islam: A Worldwide Encyclopedia [4 volumes] ABC-CLIO 2017 ISBN 9781610692175 pp. 1425–1429
  36. ^ Robert Dankoff (2008). From Mahmud Kaşgari to Evliya Çelebi. Isis Press. p. 81. ISBN 978-975-428-366-2.
  37. ^ Dankoff, Robert (Jan–Mar 1975). "Kāšġarī on the Beliefs and Superstitions of the Turks". Journal of the American Oriental Society. 95 (1): 68–80. doi:10.2307/599159. JSTOR 599159.
  38. ^ Robert Dankoff (2008). From Mahmud Kaşgari to Evliya Çelebi. Isis Press. p. 79. ISBN 978-975-428-366-2.
  39. ^ Mehmet Fuat Köprülü; Gary Leiser; Robert Dankoff (2006). Early Mystics in Turkish Literature. Psychology Press. pp. 147–. ISBN 978-0-415-36686-1.
  40. ^ Dudolgnon Islam In Politics In Russia Routledge, 05.11.2013 ISBN 9781136888786 p. 301-304
  41. ^ a b http://altaica.ru/SECRET/cleaves_shI.pdf

References

  • Brent, Peter (1976). The Mongol Empire: Genghis Khan: His Triumph and his Legacy. London: Book Club Associates.
  • Richtsfeld, Bruno J. (2004). "Rezente ostmongolische Schöpfungs-, Ursprungs- und Weltkatastrophenerzählungen und ihre innerasiatischen Motiv- und Sujetparallelen". Münchner Beiträge zur Völkerkunde. Jahrbuch des Staatlichen Museums für Völkerkunde München. 9. pp. 225–274.
Ay Ata

Ay Ata (Turkish & Azerbaijani: Ay Ata, Cyrillic: Ай Ата; sometimes Ay Tanrı or Ay Dede, or Turkish: Ay Dede, Turkmen: Aý Däde, Azerbaijani: Ay Dədə) is one of the mythological entities in Turkic mythology and Tengrism. In English, the meanings are: Ay Ata: Father Moon, Ay Dede: Grandfather Moon and Ay Tanrı: The Moon God.

Devil

A devil is the personification of evil as it is conceived in many and various cultures and religious traditions. It is seen as the objectification of a hostile and destructive force.It is difficult to specify a particular definition of any complexity that will cover all of the traditions, beyond that it is a manifestation of evil. It is meaningful to consider the devil through the lens of each of the cultures and religions that have the devil as part of their mythos.The history of this concept intertwines with theology, mythology, psychiatry, art and literature, maintaining a validity, and developing independently within each of the traditions. It occurs historically in many contexts and cultures, and is given many different names — Satan, Lucifer, Beelzebub, Mephistopheles — and attributes: It is portrayed as blue, black, or red; It is portrayed as having horns on its head, and without horns, and so on. The idea of the devil has been taken seriously often, but not always, for example when devil figures are used in advertising and on candy wrappers.

Flag of East Turkestan

The flag of East Turkistan (Uyghur: شەرقىي تۈركىستان بايرىقى), often referred to as the East Turkistan flag, also known as Kökbayraq(Blue Banner), was the national flag of the Islamic Republic of East Turkistan. It was adopted by the Islamic Republic of East Turkistan on November 12, 1933. It is a symbol of the East Turkestan independence movement.The flag resembles the Turkish flag, including a crescent and star historically representing Tengrism. The color blue represents the Gökturks, a group of ancient nomadic Turkic peoples. Gökturks translates to "Celestial Turks".

Gimlé

In Norse mythology, Gimlé (alternately Gimli as in Icelandic) is a place where the worthy survivors of Ragnarök are foretold to live. It is mentioned in the Prose Edda and the Eddic poem "Völuspá" and described as the most beautiful place in Asgard, more beautiful than the sun.

Gökhan

Gökhan (Turkish pronunciation: [ˈɟœchan]) is a Turkish forename meaning "ruler of the sky" related to Tengrism. The stem of the name comes from "gök" [ɟœc] ('sky') and han, a title held by hereditary rulers and tribal chiefs among Altaic-speaking peoples.

Most likely, the first appearance of the name Gökhan is as one of the six sons of Oghuz Khagan, the legendary ruler of the Oghuz.

Gökçe

Gökçe is a common feminine and masculine Turkish given name. In Turkish, linked to the old Turkic and Mongolian religion Tengrism, "Gökçe" means "sky goddess", "ruler of the sky", "celestial", and/or "sky blue."

Hungarian Native Faith

The Hungarian Native Faith (Hungarian: Ősmagyar Vallás), also termed Hungarian Neopaganism, is a modern Pagan new religious movement aimed at representing an ethnic religion of the Hungarians, inspired by taltosism (Hungarian shamanism), ancient mythology and later folklore. The Hungarian Native Faith movement has roots in 18th- and 19th-century Enlightenment and Romantic elaborations, and early-20th-century ethnology. The construction of a national Hungarian religion was endorsed in interwar Turanist circles (1930s–1940s), and, eventually, Hungarian Native Faith movements blossomed in Hungary after the fall of the Soviet Union.The boundaries between Hungarian Native Faith groups are often traced along their differing ideas about the ethnogenetic origins of the Hungarians, which have historically been a matter of debate. Many organisations acknowledge the commonly accepted theory that Hungarians originated among the Uralic peoples. Other Hungarian Native Faith groups, however, cultivate further links with Scythian, Sumerian, Turkic and other cultures.

Besides the elaborations developed within intellectual circles, the grassroots development of the Hungarian Native Faith largely relies upon the work of individual shamans or neoshamans, the táltos, whom have become popular in Hungary since the 1980s. Some Hungarian Native Faith organisations are supported by political parties of the right-wing, including Fidesz and Jobbik.

Khata

A khata or khatag(Tibetan: ཁ་བཏགས་; Dzongkha: དར་, Dhar, Mongolian : ᠬᠠᠳᠠᠭ / Mongolian: хадаг / IPA: [χɑtɑk], khadag or hatag, Nepali: खतक khada, Chinese 哈達/哈达; pinyin: hādá/hǎdá) is a traditional ceremonial scarf in tengrism and Tibetan Buddhism. It originated in Tibetan culture and is common in cultures and countries where Tibetan Buddhism is practiced or has strong influence.

The khata symbolizes purity and compassion and is worn or presented with incense at many ceremonial occasions, including births, weddings, funerals, graduations and the arrival or departure of guests. It is usually made of silk. Tibetan khatas are usually white, symbolising the pure heart of the giver, though it is quite common to find yellow-gold khata as well. Tibetan, Nepali, and Bhutanese khatas feature the ashtamangala. There are also special multi-colored khatas. Mongolian khatas are usually blue, symbolizing the blue sky. In Mongolia, khatas are also often tied to ovoos, stupas, or special trees and rocks.

Manchu shamanism

Manchu folk religion is the ethnic religion practiced by most of the Manchu people, the major-Tungusic group, in China. It can also be called Manchu shamanism by virtue of the word "shaman" being originally from Tungusic šamán ("man of knowledge"), later applied by Western scholars to similar religious practices in other cultures.

It is a animistic and polytheistic religion, believing in several gods and spirits, but have similarly like Tengrism a universal sky-God called Apka Enduri ("God of Heaven") which is the all life and creation. Deities (enduri) enliven every aspect of nature, and the worship of these gods is believed to bring favour, health and prosperity. Many of the deities are original Manchu kins' ancestors, and people with the same surname are generated by the same god.Shamans are persons of unusual ability, strength and sensitivity, capable of perception and prediction of the ways of the gods. They are endowed with the social function to conduct the sacrificial ceremonies and approach the deities asking them intervention or protection. Because of their abilities the shamans are people of great authority and prestige. Usually, every Manchu kin has its own shaman.Manchu folk religious rites were standardised by the Qianlong Emperor (1736-96) in the "Manchu Sacrificial Ritual to the Gods and Heaven" (Manjusai wecere metere kooli bithe), a manual published in Manchu in 1747 and in Chinese (Manzhou jishen jitian dianli) in 1780. With the conquest of imperial power in China (Qing dynasty) the Manchu people gradually adopted Chinese language and assimilated into the Chinese religion, although Manchu folk religion persists with a distinct character within broader Chinese religion.

Monotheism

Monotheism is defined as the belief in one god. A narrower definition of monotheism is the belief in the existence of only one god that created the world, is all-powerful and intervenes in the world.A distinction may be made between exclusive monotheism, and both inclusive monotheism and pluriform (panentheistic) monotheism which, while recognising various distinct gods, postulate some underlying unity.Monotheism is distinguished from henotheism, a religious system in which the believer worships one god without denying that others may worship different gods with equal validity, and monolatrism, the recognition of the existence of many gods but with the consistent worship of only one deity. The term "monolatry" was perhaps first used by Julius Wellhausen.The broader definition of monotheism characterizes the traditions of Bábism, the Bahá'í Faith, Balinese Hinduism, Cao Dai (Caodaiism), Cheondoism (Cheondogyo), Christianity, Deism, Eckankar, Hindu sects such as Shaivism and Vaishnavism, Islam, Judaism, Mandaeism, Rastafari, Seicho no Ie, Sikhism, Tengrism (Tangrism), Tenrikyo (Tenriism), Yazidism, and Zoroastrianism, and elements of pre-monotheistic thought are found in early religions such as Atenism, ancient Chinese religion, and Yahwism.

Neopaganism in Hungary

Neopaganism in Hungary (Hungarian: Újpogányság) is very diverse, with followers of the Hungarian Native Faith and of other religions, including Wiccans, Kemetics, Mithraics, Druids and Christopagans.Szilárdi (2006) describes the movement as a postmodern combination of ethnocentric linguistic, national, religious and occasional political patterns of identity. Interest in the reconstruction of an ethnic religion for the Hungarians manifested for the first time in the early 20th century. A contribution to the popularisation of Pagan ideas in the Hungarian society was the tremendous success of the rock opera István, a király in 1984.

Otuken

Ötüken (Old Turkic: 𐰇𐱅𐰚𐰤: 𐰘𐰃𐰽 Ötüken yïš, "Ötüken forest", 𐰇𐱅𐰚𐰤:𐰘𐰼, Ötüken jer, "Land of Ötüken") is a legendary capital city in Turkic Khaganate. It has an important place in Turkic mythology and Tengrism. Otukan (Ötüken) is also one of the names given to Mother Earth.

Religion in Kazakhstan

According to various polls, the majority of Kazakhstan's citizens, primarily ethnic Kazakhs, identify as non-denominational Muslims, while others incline towards Sunni of the Hanafi school, traditionally including ethnic Kazakhs, who constitute about 63.6% of the population, as well as ethnic Uzbeks, Uighurs, and Tatars. Less than 1% are part of the Shafi`i (primarily Chechens) and Shi'a. There are a total of 2,300 mosques, all of them affiliated with the "Spiritual Association of Muslims of Kazakhstan", headed by a supreme mufti. The Eid al-Adha is recognized as a national holiday.Less than 25% of the population of Kazakhstan is Russian Orthodox, traditionally including ethnic Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians. Other Christian groups include Catholics, Protestants (Baptists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Pentecostals, Methodists, Mennonites and Seventh-day Adventists), Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons. There are a total of 265 registered Orthodox churches, 93 Catholic churches, and 543 Protestant churches and prayer houses. Christmas, rendered in the Russian Orthodox manner according to the Julian calendar, is recognized as a national holiday in Kazakhstan.Other religious registered groups include Judaism, the Bahá'í Faith, Hinduism, Buddhism, the Church of Scientology, Christian Science, and the Unification Church.The country is multiethnic, with a long tradition of tolerance and secularism. Since independence, the number of mosques and churches has increased greatly. However, the population is sometimes wary of minority religious groups and groups that proselytize. There were several reports of citizens filing complaints with authorities after their family members became involved with such groups. Leaders of the four religious groups the government considers "traditional" – Islam, Russian Orthodoxy, Catholicism, and Judaism – reported general acceptance and tolerance that other religious groups did not always enjoy.

Religion in Russia

Religion in Russia is diverse with Christianity, especially Orthodoxy, being the most widely professed faith, but with significant minorities of Irreligious people, Muslims and Pagans. A 1997 law on religion recognises the right to freedom of conscience and creed to all the citizenry, the spiritual contribution of Orthodox Christianity to the history of Russia, and respect to "Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism and other religions and creeds which constitute an inseparable part of the historical heritage of Russia's peoples", including ethnic religions or Paganism, either preserved or revived. According to the law, any religious organisation may be recognised as "traditional" if it was already in existence before 1982, and each newly founded religious group has to provide its credentials and re-register yearly for fifteen years, and, in the meantime until eventual recognition, stay without rights.The Russian Orthodox Church, though its influence is thin in some parts of the North Caucasian region and there are a lot of different religious movements in Russia, claiming the right to decide which other religions or denominations are to be granted the right of registration. Some Protestant churches which were already in existence before the Russian Revolution have been unable to re-register, and the Catholic Church has been forbidden to develop its own territorial jurisdictions. According to some Western observers, respect for freedom of religion by Russian authorities has declined since the late 1990s and early 2000s. Activities of the Jehovah's Witnesses are currently banned in Russia.

Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 there has been a revival and spread of Siberian shamanism (which also mixed in some cases very strong with Orthodox elements) , and the emergence of Hindu and new religious movements throughout Russia. There has been an "exponential increase in new religious groups and alternative spiritualities", Eastern religions and Neopaganism, even among self-defined "Christians"—a term which has become a loose descriptor for a variety of eclectic views and practices. Russia has been defined by the scholar Eliot Borenstein as the "Southern California of Europe" because of such a blossoming of new religious movements, and the latter are perceived by the Russian Orthodox Church as competitors in a "war for souls". It must be added that Borensteins commentary is very imprecise and inaccurate, as many of the religions of Russia have been traditional components for several hundred of years and formed the Russian cultural identities over a long period of time through strong ethno-cultural interactions.

Tengri

Tengri (Old Turkic: 𐱅𐰭𐰼𐰃‎; Bulgarian: Тангра; Modern Turkish: Tanrı; Proto-Turkic *teŋri / *taŋrɨ; Mongolian script: ᠲᠩᠷᠢ, Tngri; Modern Mongolian: Тэнгэр, Tenger), is one of the names for the primary chief deity used by the early Turkic (Bulgar) and Mongolic (Xianbei) peoples.

Worship of Tengri is Tengrism. The core beings in Tengrism are the Heavenly-Father (Tengri/Tenger Etseg) and the Earth Mother (Eje/Gazar Eej). It involves shamanism, animism, totemism and ancestor worship.

Tian Shan

The Tian Shan, also known as the Tengri Tagh, meaning the Mountains of Heaven or the Heavenly Mountain, is a large system of mountain ranges located in Central Asia. The highest peak in the Tian Shan is Jengish Chokusu, at 7,439 metres (24,406 ft) high. Its lowest point is the Turpan Depression, which sits at 154 m (505 ft) below sea level.The Chinese name for Tian Shan may have been derived from the Xiongnu word Qilian (simplified Chinese: 祁连; traditional Chinese: 祁連; pinyin: Qí lián) – according to Tang commentator Yan Shigu, Qilian is the Xiongnu word for sky or heaven. Sima Qian in the Records of the Grand Historian mentioned Qilian in relation to the homeland of the Yuezhi, and the term is believed to refer to the Tian Shan rather than the Qilian Mountains 1,500 kilometres (930 mi) further east now known by this name. The Tannu-Ola mountains in Tuva has the same meaning in its name ("heaven/celestial mountains" or "god/spirit mountains"). Tian Shan is sacred in Tengrism, and its second-highest peak is known as Khan Tengri which may be translated as "Lord of the Spirits".

Turco-Mongol tradition

Turco-Mongol or the Turko-Mongol tradition was an ethnocultural synthesis that arose in Asia during the 14th century, among the ruling elites of Mongol Empire's successor states. These elites adopted Islam (from previous religions like Tengrism) while retaining Mongol political and legal institutions.

Turkic peoples

The Turkic peoples are a collection of ethno-linguistic groups of Central, Eastern, Northern and Western Asia as well as parts of Europe and North Africa. They speak related languages belonging to the Turkic language family. They share, to varying degrees, certain cultural traits, common ancestry and historical backgrounds. In time, different Turkic groups came in contact with other ethnicities, absorbing them, leaving some Turkic groups more diverse than the others. Many vastly differing ethnic groups have throughout history become part of the Turkic peoples through language shift, acculturation, intermixing, adoption and religious conversion. In their genetic compositions, therefore, most Turkic groups differ significantly in origins from one group to the next.Despite this, many do share, to varying degrees, non-linguistic characteristics like cultural traits, ancestry from a common gene pool, and historical experiences. The most notable modern Turkic-speaking ethnic groups include Turkish people, Azerbaijanis, Uzbeks, Kazakhs, Turkmens, Kyrgyz and Uyghur people.

Vattisen Yaly

Vattisen Yaly (Chuvash: Ваттисен йӑли, Tradition of the Old) is a contemporary revival of the ethnic religion of the Chuvash people, a Turkic ethnicity of uppermost Bulgar ancestry mostly settled in the republic of Chuvashia and surrounding federal subjects of Russia.

Vattisen Yaly could be categorised as a peculiar form of Tengrism, a related revivalist movement of Central Asian traditional religion, however it differs significantly from it: being the Chuvash a heavily Fennicised and Slavified ethnicity (they were also never fully Islamised, contrarywise to most of other Turks), and having had exchanges also with other Indo-European ethnicities,The Chuvash are not simply Finns Tatarized in language, but show evidence in face form, nose form, and in the scarcity of true blondism, that the Turkish influence did bring some mongoloid traits. Their religion shows many similarities with Finnic and Slavic Paganisms; moreover, the revival of "Vattisen Yaly" in recent decades has occurred following Neopagan patterns. Thus it should be more carefully categorised as a Neopagan religion. Today the followers of the Chuvash Traditional Religion are called "the true Chuvash". Their main god is Tura, a deity comparable to the Estonian Taara, the Germanic Thunraz and the pan-Turkic Tengri.The Chuvash Traditional Religion has an unbroken continuation, having been preserved in a few villages of the Chuvash diaspora outside Chuvashia until modern times. In the late 1980s and early 1990s together with the demise of the Soviet Union a cultural and national revival blossomed among the Chuvash, and its leaders gradually embraced the idea of a return to indigenous Paganism, also supported by Chuvash intellectuals. The identitary movement looked to movements in the Baltic states for inspiration.

The national movement, meanwhile embodied in a Chuvash National Congress, carried on its "national religion" idea during the 1990s. Intellectuals started to recover and codify ancient rituals and started practicing them among the population both in cities and countryside villages, declaring themselves the guardians of tradition and the descendants of elder priests.

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